Q: What is an out-of-court settlement?
An out-of-court settlement occurs when a plaintiff and a defendant reach an agreement on an injury claim without having a jury or a judge decide the case for them. Usually, an out-of-court settlement calls for the defendant to pay a sum of money to the plaintiff, and in return, the plaintiff will drop their lawsuit. More specifically, an out-of-court settlement is a legally-binding contract which ends the case without going to court. Such an arrangement is almost always negotiated by the attorneys for all parties in the case.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Out-of-Court Settlement
Extensive media coverage of lawsuits may lead you to believe that court trials are where most personal injury claims are decided. In fact, trials are the exception rather than the rule. Many personal injury lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom and instead result in some sort of out-of-court settlement. If, however, your case does end in a courtroom, it is unclear how a jury or judge will react to the case and what the results will be. This makes it especially important to consider the experience of an attorney when making a decision to hire.
Settlements do not alway be between two attorneys. Sometimes in auto accident cases, settlements occur between our client and the insurance company directly. In other words, we work directly with an insurance adjustor to get the case worked out before going to trial. This can be the best solution in some cases, but not all. Our office works daily with our clients and the insurance companies to get the best resolution, sometimes that does involve a trial and sometimes not. Each case is different and each claim is different.
One of the primary advantages of an out-of-court settlement is that it quickly resolves the claim, resulting in quicker receipt of compensation. However, in some circumstances, quicker is not always better. On the other hand, out-of-court settlements are a risky venture for someone who has suffered severe or life-altering injuries that will require costly medical treatment, as sometimes, the settlement may not be sufficient to address long-term needs. The facts must be considered when determining your next course of action.
An out of court settlement can also lead to an overall decrease in stress you may have and ultimately decrease the amount of legal fees you may pay. Your attorney can attempt to reach the most favorable out-of-court settlement possible, and can also advise you on which course of action would be most beneficial to you. You have the final say on whether to accept an out-of-court settlement or proceed to trial with a West Virginia personal injury lawsuit.
To review some past client results, some of which were due to out of court settlements, click here.
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Contacting a Clarksburg Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a Clarksburg accident and you are interested in pursuing recovery in a West Virginia personal injury lawsuit contact the Clarksburg personal injury attorneys at The Miley Legal Group for a FREE consultation - 304-326-1800.